How to grow tomatoes in Hawaii (or should that be ‘on’ Hawaii)?
Growing Tomatoes in Hawaii – Because it’s a heat-loving plant, tomatoes are perfectly adapted to the climatic conditions of Hawaii. In Hawaii, we are spoiled because we can grow our tomatoes on a year-round basis. And we can grow them almost anyplace at all on the archipelago.
At the University of Hawaii, some tomato cultivars have been developed that maintain resistance to root-knot nematode, one commonplace tomato plant pest on the islands.
Among these cultivars are ‘Kalohi’, ‘Healani’, ‘Anahu’, ‘Komohana’, and ‘Kewalo’.
If your intention is to establish your tomato plants in containers, this is how to get started.
Growing Tomatoes in Hawaii
Get yourself some potting soil, however many containers you’ll require, your starter tomato plants, and a trellis (or two).
Trellises are plenty useful if you’re growing out of containers or if you are planting your tomatoes in your backyard. A trellis will work in ensuring your plants are kept upright. This makes it easier to prune the plants and to harvest the crop. Plus, it – the trellis – reduces the potential for pests and diseases impacting your plants.
Your containers should be 12 x 12 inches (5 gallon) or 14 x 14 inches (7 gallon). You’ll want there to be some holes in the base of each container for drainage purposes.
Add your potting soil and trellis to the pot. You’ll want the trellis to stand upright and to remain stable.
Time to dig a hole in the potting soil. Then, remove your tomato plants from their original containers and position them in the new containers.
The root ball of each plant should be at the trellis’ base. This will allow each plant to enjoy full support as it grows.
Plant your tomatoes deeply – down to the first two leaves on the stem. Remove those two base leaves by plucking them off. Unlike most other plants, tomatoes do very well when planted deeply. This encourages more root growth.
Irrespective your tomato plants are in containers or in the ground they’ll need plenty of water, and, of course, plenty of sunshine. Ideally, tomatoes want at least six hours of sunshine daily. Plus, they’ll want a minimum of an inch of water each week. When the weather is very hot, make that two inches of water weekly.
Any yellowing or dead leaves can be pruned off with sharp secateurs.
There are many proprietary tomato fertilizers on the market. Some people prefer not to use them. It’s up to you. If you do buy a tomato fertilizer follow the instructions on the label.
How long will it take before you can pick the first tomato fruit harvest? That depends on the variety. Typically, tomatoes will be ready anything between 70 and 85 days after transplanting.